Midco gives Lawrence Public Library $90,000 for new computers

photo by: Mike Yoder

Lawrence Public Library, pictured Aug. 20, 2015.

Computers at the Lawrence Public Library will be getting an upgrade thanks to a grant from Midco.

Midco, which provides phone, cable and internet services in the Lawrence area, gave the library $90,000 to buy new computers and software for public use. Kathleen Morgan, executive director of the library’s foundation, said they appreciated the generosity of Midco, which she said approached the library with the grant offer.

“We’re really grateful that they have stepped up to do this for the community,” Morgan said. “It obviously helps the library but it also helps our patrons.”

Morgan said the public computers at the library got a lot of use and that it was good to be able to upgrade the technology. She said the grant was provided in installments of $15,000 per year for six years, and the library already used the first installment to help replace computers in the library’s enclosed computer lab and to purchase 10 new Chromebook laptops.

The library has a total of 75 public computers, 16 catalog computers and additional staff computers, according to Morgan. She said the computers from the lab were replaced this fall and repurposed, replacing aging staff computers and six computers in the library’s Teen Zone.

Midco announced the grant in a press release on Wednesday. The release said the $90,000 award to the library underscored the importance of education and “the value of a vibrant public library.”

Morgan said over the six-year grant cycle the library would use the money to replace as many of the public computers as possible, funds for which would otherwise have to come from the library’s annual budget.

“It really does help us a lot,” Morgan said. “Obviously we want to keep up on our technology, and this helps us to get there.”